South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) | UP

The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) is a human intervention by the government of South Africa, led by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). It is designed to significantly expand the scientific research base of the country in a way that is relevant to national development and in support of making South Africa an internationally competitive global knowledge economy.

The South African Research Chairs Initiative has five interrelated objectives:

  • To increase the number of world class researchers in South Africa,
  • To retain and/or attract back qualified research scientists to the Higher Education sector,
  • To stimulate strategic research across the knowledge spectrum and thereby increase the level of excellence in research areas of national and international importance,
  • To create research career pathways for highly skilled, high quality young and mid-career researchers that effectively addresses historical racial, gender and age imbalances, and
  • To improve and accelerate the training of highly qualified personnel through research.


UP South African Research Chairs

Prof Jaceck Banasiak      Mathematics Models and Methods in Bioengineering and Biosciences NAS

Prof Riel Franzsen           Tax Policy and Governance, EMS

Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz   Sustainable Malaria Control, NAS

Prof Brenda Wingfield       Fungal Genomics, NAS

Prof Wanda Markotter       Animal Infectious Diseases (Zoonosis), HS

Prof Celia Abolnik              Poultry Health and Production in South Africa, VET

Prof Din Chen                  Biostatistics in South Africa, NAS

Prof Frans Viljoen             International Constitutional Law, LAW (acting)

Prof Namrita Lall                Plant Health Products from Indigenous Knowledge Systems, NAS

Prof Mmantsae Diale          Clean and Green Energy, NAS

Prof Hettie Schonfeldt        Nutrition and Food Security, NAS

Prof Mavis Mulaudzi          Ubuntu Community model of nursing, HS

Prof Ramesh Bansal       Energy and Power Systems Modelling, EBIT

Prof Henrietta Langmi    Advanced Materials and Sustainable Energy, NAS


UP co-hosted SARChI - National Facilities

Prof John McKean             HartRAO SARChI Research Chair: Very Long Baseline Interferometry, NAS

Prof Andrew McKechnie    National Zoological Gardens SARChI Research Chair: Conservation Physiology, NAS


NRF-UP Co-Funded SARChIs

Prof Nelishia Pillay                       Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development, EBIT

Prof Zodwa Dlamini                      Precision Oncology and Cancer Prevention, HS

Dr Keoagile Mogase                    Marine Macrobiomics, NAS (acting)

Prof Christopher Nshimbi            Political Economy of Migration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, HUM


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